When we think of acne, we commonly think of spots and pimples that form on the face, but more than half the people who suffer from acne can also develop body acne. When acne develops on your back, it is known as back acne (bacne) and it is similar to facial acne in its variety of causes and how it manifests itself. Back acne can also range from mild acne to severe acne.
Learn about how bacne forms and how to get rid of back acne or acne scars.
Why do I have back acne?
Many of the causes of back acne are the same as for facial acne, including:
- Hormones – This is a common reason why teens struggle with bacne, but unfortunately, back acne is not limited to those in their teenage years. Women, in particular, are prone to back acne throughout their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.
- Medication – Acne can be a side effect of certain medications. This is particularly common with lithium, corticosteroids and anticonvulsants.
- Genetics – Some people are more prone to acne if their parents have also suffered from acne.
- Stress – Stress may not directly contribute to acne, but studies have shown that if you have existing or active acne, stress can make it worse. This is because wounds, including acne wounds, heal slower when your body is under stress.
- Sweat – This is a prevalent cause of back acne. Commonly referred to as sweat pimples, a combination of sweat, heat, bacteria and friction leads to clogged pores and breakouts. So, tight clothing and a long sweaty workout can become a recipe for disaster.
For acne scars on the face, neck, chest or back, they form under similar conditions. When acne is left untreated or pimples are picked at, it leaves room for pigmentation to occur, and this leads to acne scarring.
Though not all acne scarring is the same, you may find that pigmentation left behind by previous back acne breakouts are the most common.
Is back acne preventable?
If you want to get ahead of back acne, there are some preventative measures you can put in place to keep your skin clean and prevent acne development.
- Shower after intensive physical activities. Droplets of sweat can contribute to your back acne and sitting in your soggy gym clothes after a workout will only aggravate it further. Make the time to shower after physical activities or at your gym and wash your clothes after each session.
- Exfoliate once weekly or bi-weekly. Clogged pores can lead to bacne breakouts, and an exfoliating scrub or chemical exfoliant can help with shedding away the dead skin cells, as well as unclog your pores to prevent acne.
- Wear loose clothing to prevent from developing acne that can be caused by friction and trapped bacteria.
How to get rid of back acne and acne scars?
Preventative measures to avoid acne can be great when done consistently, but what should you do if back acne gets worse or when simple lifestyle changes prove ineffective?
Just as there are various types of over-the-counter acne creams or steroidal medication prescribed by a dermatologist, you can find a suitable treatment to get rid of bacne.
- Chemical peels
- LED treatments
- Micro or nano needling
- Prescription medication
Some of these treatments are also capable of addressing back acne scars, though not all can work efficiently for both active acne and acne scars on the face, neck, chest or back. That is why Illumia Medical’s team of board-certified aesthetic doctors developed a treatment protocol that effectively targets these additional areas.
With Illumia Medical’s unique approach to aesthetics and plastic surgery, the Forever Clear™ Acne Program is a personalized, step-by-step program that is tailored towards your specific condition and your skin goals. You may have one or two types of acne, followed by boxcar acne scars, and require a certain form of treatment to tackle these concerns.
Up to 15 acne and acne scar treatment solutions are available at Illumia Medical, each with its own specialized techniques meant to target certain conditions. Our team of well-trained aesthetic doctors have a combined experience of over 20 years in treating dermatological conditions, including acne and acne scars.
A unique treatment plan will be curated to your skin type and concerns, and can target:
Most patients who undergo this treatment for their acne issues are forever clear of acne in *6 months.
It is important to remember that there is no miracle or overnight cure for acne. The skin is an incredibly complex organ that is constantly regenerating itself, and thus skin issues cannot be fixed overnight.
However, with the right treatment and proper care, skin issues can be significantly improved and maintained over time.
How can I manage acne scars at home?
For mild scarring, you may try treating it with the right skincare routine. Incorporating alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) into your daily routine can help by gently exfoliating the outer layer of the skin to remove discolouration and rough skin.
Another at-home option is retinoids. These are rich in Vitamin A and help to speed up your cell regeneration process, encouraging cell turnover and improving the texture of your skin. Subsequently, this also helps reduce discolouration and making scars less noticeable.
For severe acne scarring, at-home bacne solutions may not be sufficient, and may require the help of a dermatologist or skincare expert to alleviate it entirely. Some treatments to address back acne scars that can be incorporated into your acne treatment plan can include:
- Dermabrasion – This gently removes the top layer of your skin to reveal the healthy and smooth skin underneath. This treatment is effective for shallow scarring and would not be suitable for those with deep ice-pick scars.
- Chemical peels – Similar to dermabrasion, chemical peels work to remove the superficial layer of the skin, unveiling the new, healthy skin below.
- Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing – These fully-customizable laser beams allow your doctor to select the pulse shape and control the peak power to ensure it most efficiently and effectively targets your scarring.
- Fillers – For deeper, ice-pick scars, cosmetic fillers can be used in the affected areas in the skin to create an even skin texture.
- Micro-needling – A handheld device is used to create small puncture wounds in the skins surface, triggering the skin’s natural healing response which, as it heals, produces collagen and fills out any depressed scarring.
It is important to visit a dermatologist or skincare expert before deciding on the treatment you want to proceed with. A proper skin analysis and diagnosis of your acne scarring condition will provide your aesthetic doctor with more details to recommend the best treatment for your case.
When choosing the clinic for your treatment, ensure you only choose MOH-approved clinics and board-certified doctors. Ask to see before-and-after photos of past clients so that you know exactly what you will be getting.
Schedule a skin analysis and consultation with our aesthetic doctor Dr Ong Xiang Ning today.
*Individual results may vary.